Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sun, Changyou

Committee Member

Petrolia, R. Daniel

Committee Member

Jones, Daryl W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Motivated by the increasing popularity of wildlife viewing and a growing emphasis on management for nontimber outputs, wildlife viewing demand was assessed. Specific objectives included determining factors affecting participation and frequency of use, and furthermore, deriving 2006 nationwide wildlife viewing consumer surplus estimates. With the travel cost method as the theoretical basis, the empirical estimation method employed was a two-step sample selection model that included a probit first step and a negative binomial second step. Consumer surplus per trip estimates ranged from $215.23 to $739.07 while aggregate national estimates ranged from $44.5 billion to $185.1 billion. Results reveal that age, race, and urban residence affect participation and frequency similarly. This research can help policymakers in particular better understand determinants of wildlife viewing participation and frequency. The value of wildlife viewing access can be used to justify funding initiatives aimed at protecting or managing for this use.